Cooked, sweetened fresh cranberries color this molded dessert, a past winner in the Warrens (Wis.) Cranberry Festival. It's featured in Marcia Adams' "Heartland: The Best of the Old and the New From Midwest Kitchens" (Clarkson Potter, 1991).
- 12 ounces (3 cups) fresh or frozen cranberries
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
- 3 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1/3 cup kirsch or light rum
- 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- Pinch of salt
- Raspberry sauce:
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed
- 1 jar (12 ounces) seedless raspberry preserves
- ¼ cup kirsch or light rum
Rinse the cranberries, discarding any stems and blemished berries. Transfer to a medium saucepan and combine with the sugar and 1 cup of the cranberry juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered.
In a small bowl, whisk the gelatin into 1 cup of cranberry juice and allow the gelatin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir gelatin into the hot cranberry mixture, then add the remaining 2 cups of cranberry juice, kirsch and orange rind. Transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate until slightly thickened, about 2 or 3 hours. (See note.)
In a chilled mixing bowl, whip the cream and salt until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the slightly thickened gelatin mixture. Pour the mixture into a 2-quart mold lightly sprayed with vegetable spray. Chill until firm, about 4 hours or overnight.
To prepare the sauce, press the raspberries and juice through a sieve and discard the seeds -- or, if you prefer, simply mash berries. Stir in the preserves and kirsch; mix well. Cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, dip the mold into lukewarm water for a few seconds, tap to loosen, and invert onto a serving platter. Serve with a little raspberry sauce spooned over each serving.
Be careful not to let initial gelatin mixture firm up, or it won't incorporate evenly into whipped cream -- as accompanying photo shows.